When we think about spring cleaning we tend to think about tackling major cleaning projects in every room of the house. This is all well and good, but sometimes we forget the “little” spring cleaning projects that could actually make a huge difference in the tidiness of our lives. I don’t know about you, but when things are clean and tidy, it effects my mood in a huge way. I’m more productive and ultimately happier and less stressed in a neat environment. As a blogger, I am glued to my computer screen a lot. This screen is my workspace for several hours on most days, so it dawned on me that “spring cleaning” my computer should be an essential part of the tidying up that happens this time of year. With a cleaner desktop, more organized files, and more free space, I feel a lot better knowing my computer is cleaner. Here are a few of the things I did to spring clean my computer.
Let’s be honest: most of us are terrible at maintaining an organized inbox. I have 4 different email addresses that get checked constantly by my computer, so by the end of the day, my inboxes are full of mostly ads and other junk mail. It’s time to take control of the email situation and get that inbox down to zero.
Email subscriptions: I get a ton of ad and subscription emails daily, and most of them I don’t even look at and could unsubscribe from without missing them at all. I’ve recently started using the Unroll.Me app and I LOVE it. This app logs into your email and gathers all email subscriptions that address is currently subscribed to. Then, with one swipe you can keep it, unsubscribe from it, or get it as a part of your daily Unroll.me rollup. The app takes all of the subscriptions you don’t want to totally unsubscribe from (what if I miss a sale?!), but don’t necessarily want to see in your inbox and rolls them up into 1 daily email. Within that email is all of the subscriptions you received that day. You can take a quick glance at them, read the ones you want, or just delete the whole rollup email. It’s pure genius, and it takes only a few minutes to set up.
Set up folders: No matter what email program you use, I’m sure you have the ability to create folders within your email account. There’s an inbox full of emails you don’t want to delete, but are no longer new, so create folders for the emails you want to have sitting around and move them there. A few folders I have set up are:
- Reply to me
- Order/Shipping notifications (that get deleted once my order arrives)
- Hungry Girl emails
- Financial stuff
- Blog stuff
This helps me keep things organized, on track, and allows me to get to inbox zero more often. Lets me honest, inbox zero feels really good.
As a blogger and YouTuber, this is the stuff that is taking up the most space on my computer. Since I started regularly cleaning out media, my computer has freed up enough space that I don’t have to worry about my next video fitting on my hard drive.
External hard drives: Do you have a bunch of pictures just sitting on your computer that you never use but can’t get rid of? Get yourself an external hard drive and move all of the photos over there. They’ll be safe and easily accessible, but not taking up a bunch of unnecessary computer space. 1 TB drives aren’t terribly expensive, and can hold a ton of photos and videos. I have one for personal use and for blog content.
Clear render files: Do you make videos? Odds are you have gigs of space being used up by render files that you didn’t even know were there. In Final Cut, go to File > Delete Generated Event Files, then check all, and watch as space comes back to your computer. Just make sure you aren’t in the middle of a project first.
Uninstall: Take some time to go through your computer’s applications and programs and uninstall the ones you find you aren’t using. It’s a really easy way to get some space back and have less icon clutter.
Cleaning Apps: I recently started using two applications from MacPaw, and I love the way my computer has been running. Clean My Mac 3 really helps me with general Mac upkeep, and their app Gemini is great at scanning your computer for duplicate files and getting rid of them. There are basic free versions of these apps, but I purchased full rights to them both and don’t regret it at all. PC users, there’s a Clean My PC app too!
Folders: Just like with the emails, creating a few folders on your desktop or within your computer to keep some basic things organized is a great way to get rid of desktop clutter and insure you know where everything is. I have folders for stock photos I need to access, printables I’ve downloaded (with subfolders for each type: finance, home, blog, etc), home related things, and more. It helps me keep things looking neat.
There are just a few ways you can tidy up your digital life to get it a little neater and more organized. As someone who lives on her computer, I find this helps me a lot. Do you have any other digital declutter tips? Comment below and share!